Focus on Single-Parent Families: Past, Present, and Future

Focus on Single-Parent Families: Past, Present, and Future

Focus on Single-Parent Families: Past, Present, and Future

Focus on Single-Parent Families: Past, Present, and Future


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We had several goals in creating Focus on Single-Parent Families: Past, Present, and Future. First, recognizing that single-parent families are now a notable and apparently a permanent part of American family life, we wanted to produce an anthology of superior primary source materials covering single-parent families. We believe a book of readings on SingleParent Families that offers academic rigor, addresses the intricate nature of family within the dynamics of the larger society, and provides policy trends would be a valuable contribution to the field.

Our second goal was to encourage students to look beyond the obvious and to understand the complexity and diversity of single-parent families. To assist in this process, we present a broad and thorough sampling of scholarship on issues related to single-parent families. We believe that professors and students, and ultimately society, would benefit from a more concentrated coverage of sociological principles and ideas regarding single-parent families. Although most of this scholarship is sociological, we have also drawn on the work of other social sciences.

Our third goal was to create pedagogical materials; that is, a set of core readings around which to build a course. Introduction to each of the topical sections and 19 articles allows the book to be used as a supplement or stand-alone text in upper-division undergraduate and graduate level courses dealing with family, social problems, and public policy. We present the material in a way that students find stimulating, clear, and highly readable.

At no time in our history have so many adults and children been members of single-parent families. Part One, Historical Trends in Family Life and Structure, is dedicated to the historical, demographic, and economic trends that have come to shape our modern society and the growth of such families.

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